Product description of the CAD system GRAFIS

The New Generation . . .

GRAFIS is a software for pattern construction, grading and layplanning running on standard Personal Computers using Windows 95 and above. It contains an extensive range of functions for pattern cutting and modification and is available at a very competitive price. Therefore, GRAFIS is in use in industry as well as in trade and education.

Options for Application

GRAFIS works with the construction principle as a standard procedure. Body measurement charts are used to draft basic blocks which are then, modified into styles and production patterns. These measurement charts can represent standard sizes and / or individual persons. The production patterns are developed for one measurement chart while GRAFIS records the individual construction steps. Then, the patterns can be generated for the size range required (off-the-peg) or for individual measurement charts (made-to-measure). 

GRAFIS also allows for pattern development and grading with increments. The basis are digitized, imported or other available patterns. The size range is generated through grading with grade rules. Here, also pattern modification ensues according to the construction principle without the necessity of re-processing the increments. Experience shows that the construction principle ultimately leads to a better fit. Details

Basic Blocks

Basic blocks are generated on the basis of measurement charts and construction instructions. 
The measurement charts contain either body measurements for standard sizes or the measurements for individual persons. The layout of the measurement chart depends on the pattern construction system. In addition to the construction systems supplied by GRAFIS, the user can integrate the company's own construction systems. Well established companies have used this option as well as smaller companies for specialist products such as dancewear, designer dolls, lingerie, hats and others.

The basic blocks for bodice, trousers, skirt, sleeve, collar, pockets and others, delivered with GRAFIS contain all drafting instructions required for the creation of patterns based on body measurements. Esthetic design and measurement alterations can be adjusted through drag and drop or numerical entry. The new shape is visible immediately in realtime and with relative instruction is transferred to the corresponding production patterns. Details
Users can also implement their own basic blocks. Entry of construction instructions ensues either as pattern drafting 'from scratch' on-screen or in the GRAFIS programming language. Adjustment of construction instructions usually goes hand-in-hand with checking and adjusting of the company's own fit.
All basic blocks and the derived models can be calculated automatically at any time for any measurement chart. They are 'gradeable with body measurements'.

Digitizing and increment grading

Paper or card patterns can be digitized into GRAFIS. A grade rule pattern is created with grade points and corresponding grade rules. After having digitized the pattern in the base size each grade point is assigned the required grade rule. Alternatively, a grade set of patterns can be digitized in form of a nest. In this case GRAFIS calculates the grade rules, automatically. Grade rule patterns and derived styles cannot be graded with 'body measurements'. They are used for style development in standard sizes, only. Details


Basis for style development is a prepared basic block or a grade rule pattern. During the styling process GRAFIS internally creates a record of the modification steps, basically continuing the drafting instructions of the basic blocks. The record can then be re-called to create other sizes automatically thus, eliminating incremental grading.  Details

GRAFIS also records how patterns are derived from one another, capturing the interdependence of the pieces. Alterations made to one piece are automatically applied to all interdependent pieces. Construction parameters can be applied during pattern development. This enables the user to comfortably modify already finished patterns by simply changing the construction parameters.

Pattern Output

The finished pattern pieces, scaled to any size, can be plotted on all modern plotters and printers. Full size pattern pieces may also be printed on economical A4 printers. A grid is superimposed onto the pattern. The individual pages are printed with a frame so they can be joined frame to frame, later. For cutting of templates, plotter / cutters can be installed with GRAFIS. Details


For industry, trade, pattern cutting services and education a powerful marker making system is supplied with GRAFIS. Markers can be created from different styles. Apart from the common functions such as butting pieces together, rotate, flip and buffer a large number of options and aids for specialist applications are available. These include matching points for laying checks and stripes, use of marker templates, automatic generation of fusing blocks, consideration of material flaws and shrinkage and many more. Special layplanning options for folded lays or tubular material and step-lays can be selected. Output of layplans can ensue in standardised cutter format as well as to regular plotters and printers.

In addition, a module for automatic optimisation of layplans is available. Prepared layplans are either transferred directly to the optimisation software or collated as
job files. A central workstation for automatic layplanning can be set up, processing layouts of a whole company around the clock.

Plotter and Cutter

Plotters and cutters widely available on the market can be controlled by GRAFIS directly, provided they use a standard interface. Installation, however, requires technical knowledge for configuration of software and hardware. This service is offered by the GRAFIS-Team. For connection of existing devices or purchase of new equipment, early advice and alignment is strongly recommended.

Data Import / Export 

For data interface with other CAD systems, interfaces such as AAMA are contained in GRAFIS. The interfaces are under constant development and can be adjusted to the user's particular requirements. Preparation and data transfer of the individual parts requires time and experience which need to be considered. Support and adjustment services are available during the introductory phase.


The application of GRAFIS is usually learned in two basic training courses of 5 days duration. The textbooks for these courses serve as supporting teaching material and for further reference after the courses. Special courses for advanced users are offered for component patterns, realisation of made-to-measure pattern cutting and other application questions. The basic training courses are held in Viersen at regular intervals. On-site training is also available.

More than 100 schools already use GRAFIS as part of their courses. These are amongst other the Fachhochschulen in Berlin, Hamburg and Mönchengladbach, the London College of Fashion and the Pädagogische Akademie in Vienna. Due to the comparatively low price of PCs, it is possible for educational institutions to equip the institution with a workstation for each student. This allows for a high level of practice and makes the application of CAD technology in the clothing industry a hands-on experience.


The use of GRAFIS in production requires different and, sometimes new construction technology. First pattern cutting and grading is combined into one operation. Existing company specific patterns must be integrated and use of both hardware and software requires training.

Some of the advantages stated by companies after successful implementation of GRAFIS are:

The conversion to the GRAFIS patternmaking principle requires solid preparation. Companies confirm higher flexibility and productivity after having implemented GRAFIS. They rate the use of GRAFIS as an important advantage in this competitive busines.

Trade and Pattern Cutting Services

Due to its low cost GRAFIS offers a soft approach to pattern cutting on the computer with little risk involved also for small companies and design studios. A typical GRAFIS workstation consists of a computer with GRAFIS software and an A4 printer; A0 plotter and digitizer are optional. Freelance pattern cutting services take on economical and flexible pattern development for clothing companies. 

Small, highly specialised companies develop production patterns in Germany. These are then sent per data transfer to offshore factories. With GRAFIS made-to-measure patterns can be produced. The powerful features of GRAFIS are especially productive in producing garments for groups of persons (e.g. corporate clothing for hotels and federations or theatre costumes).

The Concept for the Future …

GRAFIS is under continuous dynamic development in conjunction with its customers in industry, trade and education. During the last few years, a number of flexible interactive pattern have been developed, opening up a new world of 2D pattern development. Interaction and intuitive application are the driving forces behind the continuing development of the functionality for style development. A voice-operated software for capturing measurement data has been developed as a competetively priced alternative to expensive measuring booths. The body measurements are instantly available for processing in GRAFIS and can be saved onto a chip card.

Most actual information about the state of development are given at the regular user meetings or at our stands at the IMB fair in Köln or at the CPD fashion show in Düsseldorf.